How do I hide my private info and IP when sending out e-mails using Thunderbird?

Posted on 2011-05-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm using Thunderbird for Mac.

I just recently discovered that when viewing the message source code of my e-mails (the test e-mail I sent to myself), the header is showing my full computer name, hostname, and my IP.

Regardless if I sent out using Gmail or my ISP's SMTP, the Received: from section of the source code contains all the data I considered personal.

For privacy concern, I would like to hide these info to be sent out in the outgoing e-mails I compose.

How can this be done?
Question by:jay28lee
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    This is a problem inherent to smtp protocol. Use a webmail to send emails, or webdav protocol if avaiable.

    Author Comment

    I rarely used webmail, does it still show my IP?

    What does webdav do?

    I do enjoy the convenience of thunderbird with integration of my multiple e-mail accounts.  does all e-mail clients using smtp protocol is behaving like this?

    no other way to cloak these info?
    LVL 82

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dave Baldwin
    If you use Gmail in your browser (webmail), it only shows the Gmail servers IPs.  If you were able to conceal all your info in your emails, you might find your emails blocked by spam filters for not being identifiable.  Part of the 'social contract' of the internet email is that you can be tracked if you send spam or threatening emails.  Note that you can't really hide on the internet.  If there is a reason to, police can get a search warrant and get your IP address from Google's Gmail if they needed and find you.

    Author Comment

    my concern is more like the name of my computer and ip are displayed, so that people may try to hack or attach my machine.

    what about using a paid vpn?  does it somewhat hide my ip from the public viewing?
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    Does your computer name really identify you? For most people it is fairly innocuous. Try renaming it if you're worried. As for the IP, unless you are on a static IP then relax, most people couldn't trace you (but hack Sarah Palin's emails and then even a proxy won't save you).

    For example, my IP address tonight is which apparently puts me in Hamilton, New Zealand. I don't live within 200 miles of there, so you've narrowed me down to about 10000 square miles and 3 million people.

    Author Comment

    my computer name does have some degree of identification, as i'm on a local network of a few workstations, it's for the convenience of usage, i never thought people outside of my local network will even get to see my computer name.

    i'm using cable modem and i do have a static IP from my ISP.  i do have business activity running out of my IP, that's why i'm worried if someone will make maliciously hack/attack.  either competitors or frustrated customers/users.

    i know it's very unlikely to happen, but i would like to eliminate the chance and possible trace.  especially i'm using e-mail on a daily basis (which supposed to be private), and now which exposes me to a great possibility of security issue.

    any other solution?  is it the case for all e-mail clients using smtp to send out e-mail?
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    Yes, it is the same for all clients using email.  Look at the headers in the emails you get from others.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

    Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

    MS Outlook is a leading desktop email client that not only used for sending and receiving emails but also for managing other useful information. With the help of Outlook, you can maintain your address book, store information about your contacts, and…
    This story has been written with permission from the scammed victim, a valued client of mine – identity protected by request.
    how to add IIS SMTP to handle application/Scanner relays into office 365.
    This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

    761 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    7 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now